[Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maidens

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[Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maidens

Postby RobJN » Sun May 26, 2013 4:09 pm

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Trigger: The Baron's Trap
“Yes,” Baron Halaran says, motioning for quiet. “Yes, I know we must stop these creatures. But in order to do that, we must learn what they are. I have a plan, to lure one of these creatures out, but I will need strong arms to hold the creature after it takes the bait. We do not want to kill it if we do not have to. Once it enters the barn, you will secure it with the nets, and subdue it if possible. I can provide some spell scrolls to aid you, but I regret that I cannot be there personally. I have to be on hand here at Tarnskeep to ensure that the people and livestock are safe.” He glances around the table. “Three teams,” he says, pointing to the three furthest farmsteads marked on the map of Threshold. “I can spare a handful of men apiece, but if these creatures are immune to normal good steel, I’m afraid you will be on your own. If you have no further questions, Sergeant Arthol will distribute what aid I am able to provide.”

The baron’s aid consists of a scroll of Protection from Evil, 10’ radius, Bless, and Hold Person, as well as a clutch of 4 potions of healing. In addition, he gives a member of the party a net of entanglement (imposes a -2 penalty to the victim's Save vs. Death Ray to avoid becoming ensnared.)

The PCs are assigned the Littau farm, as it sits farthest from the town’s walls, but has enough buildings to hide several groups of guards out of plain sight.
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One of the baron’s cows has been left in the southern barn. The western pair of doors have been removed.

The stone dryad takes the bait, scuttling into the barn shortly after midnight. If the PCs have taken precautions (hiding themselves in the stalls or in the loft above, staying quiet) they gain surprise on 1 in 3 on 1d6. Regardless of whether or not they hit with the net, the creature lets out a grating scream (which serves to summon 1d6 more of its kind in 2d4 rounds).

After 4 rounds, whether they have managed to subdue the creature or not, the PCs will hear the guards shouting, trying to break down very door they'd told the family to bar from the inside. Something is attacking the family inside the house! (3 rounds to run (@90’ per round) from barn to building 7, which is ~240’ from the barn)

If the PCs go to their aid, they face 1d6 more stone dryads approaching the other cottages and outbuildings. If they stay inside the barn, the same 1d6 stone dryads surround that building.

Inside the Littau cottage, they find the family, scared, scratched, but unbitten.

The creature burst from Magda’s room, careened through the house, and then retreated, escaping through the window of the eldest Littau girl’s room.

A PC with the Tracking general skill can tell that only one set of tracks departed the room -- the creature would have to have been carrying Magda when it made its escape. The tracks lead west, towards the Blackstone Heath.

In the initial encounter, Stone Dryads will flee after losing 50 percent of their hit points.


Stone Dryad, Lesser
Armor Class 4
Hit Dice 4***
Move 90’ (30’)
Flying 150’ (50’)
Attacks: 2 claws/1 bite + gaze
Damage: 1-3/1-3/1-4 + special (see below)
# Appearing 1-6 (2-8)
Save As: Fighter: 8
Morale: 11
Treasure Type: C
Alignment: Chaotic
XP Value: 225

Stone dryads are a special sub-class of gargoyle, something thought to have originated in the days of Blackmoor. It is unclear whether they are a result of some sort of powerful curse, or experimentation by the Egg of Coot, the Wizard’s Cabal, or perhaps even the Technomages of Blackmoor University.

Like gargoyles, they are magical monsters, and can only be hit with magical weapons. They appear to be fashioned of stone, fangled, clawed, and winged, but unlike gargoyles, their aspect is one of unearthly beauty, with eyes of emerald or sapphire and teeth of ivory. First sight of one of these creatures requires a Save vs Paralysis or the victim is struck by as if by a cause fear spell: 50% chance of dropping anything held, and fleeing at full speed for 2 turns, or cowering and unable to face the creature if running away is not possible). This only applies to the first time one of these creatures is seen, and succeeding in the Saving Throw or encountering another creature (or the same one) has no further fearful effect. A -2 penalty applies to the save/ if the creature is seen under the light of a full moon.

Those meeting the sapphire or emerald gaze of a stone dryad must Save vs Spells or be stunned. The stone dryad then attacks victims thus affected first, attempting to incapacitate them further. Once saved against, the PC cannot be affected by the stunning gaze for the remainder of the combat.

Victims losing half their hit points or more to the stone dryad’s bite attack may contract the Stone Maiden’s curse: while their wounds may be healed normally, unless they have Remove Curse cast on them, they turn to stone on the first night of the full moon, bursting forth as as either gargoyles (if male) or stone dryads (if female) the second night.

Non-sentient creatures attacked by stone dryads merely turn to stone.

Stone dryads’ treasure can only be gained if they are slain under the light of the full moon. Upon reaching 0 hit points, the creatures crumble to dust, leaving behind an exquisitely cut emerald or sapphire worth 500 gold pieces.

On Thorn’s Mystara, these stones are much more valuable, having a 3 percent chance of actually being a Green or Blue dragonstone.
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maiden

Postby RobJN » Thu May 30, 2013 8:29 pm

Thoughts...? Anyone? Bueller?
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maiden

Postby Chimpman » Thu May 30, 2013 10:44 pm

Well, I like the look of the second cover better than the first. The first just seems too busy to me.

I love the Stone Dryads (they remond me very much of Doctor Who's Angels :mrgreen: ). Are the creatures actually made of stone, or do they just appear to be made of stone? If the former, I wonder how such a creature could be "subdued". Captured possibly, but I would think the party might need more than nets to hold the creature for very long. Perhaps the Baron also supplies them with an iron cage to store the creature once it has been captured.

I also have some background questions: Why are the Stone Dryads attacking the barony (and the farms specifically)? When did the attacks start and are they part of some larger plot? Why did the dryad take the girl from the farm? I'm assuming to create another stone dryad from her... Where is the dryad going to take the girl - do they have a lair somewhere nearby?
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maiden

Postby RobJN » Thu May 30, 2013 11:15 pm

Chimpman wrote:Well, I like the look of the second cover better than the first. The first just seems too busy to me.

I love the Stone Dryads (they remond me very much of Doctor Who's Angels :mrgreen: ). Are the creatures actually made of stone, or do they just appear to be made of stone? If the former, I wonder how such a creature could be "subdued". Captured possibly, but I would think the party might need more than nets to hold the creature for very long. Perhaps the Baron also supplies them with an iron cage to store the creature once it has been captured.

I also have some background questions: Why are the Stone Dryads attacking the barony (and the farms specifically)? When did the attacks start and are they part of some larger plot? Why did the dryad take the girl from the farm? I'm assuming to create another stone dryad from her... Where is the dryad going to take the girl - do they have a lair somewhere nearby?

Act 1 consists of the pursuit of the Stone Dryad, if the one from the barn escapes, or the PCs track the one that fled the Littau farmhouse. Either way, they are led across the Blackstone Heath, to an old stone circle, and thence, a Traldar burial mound... beneath which is found the secret of the Stone Maidens.
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Act 2 involves visiting a reclusive sage the baron has had occasion to consult. The sage, of course, does not work for free....
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As for the rest of your questions... well, answering most of those is the overall aim of the module. So I guess the trigger event did it's job in raising a few questions to spur the PCs on to find answers.... :twisted: Other answers will have to wait for TC4: War of the White Lady
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maiden

Postby Justinov » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:13 pm

Maybe the stone dryads get angry because of some mining operation or road building clearing away some ancient rock croppings (if they actually are stone dryads connected to solid rock the way normal dryads are connected to trees?).
or as you say maybe some one from the Littau farmstead has been messing with the old stone circle in Blackstone Heath in some way where the dryads live (perhaps tilting them for look for treasure underneath, or chopping pieces off for some other purpose?).
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maiden

Postby RobJN » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:16 pm

Justinov wrote:Maybe the stone dryads get angry because of some mining operation or road building clearing away some ancient rock croppings (if they actually are stone dryads connected to solid rock the way normal dryads are connected to trees?).
or as you say maybe some one from the Littau farmstead has been messing with the old stone circle in Blackstone Heath in some way where the dryads live (perhaps tilting them for look for treasure underneath, or chopping pieces off for some other purpose?).

Good suggestions! I'll have to include a sidebar on possible rumors and theories being floated around by the villagers, as well as clues that can be found in searching around the Littau farmstead....
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maiden

Postby Justinov » Sun Jun 02, 2013 1:20 pm

Good suggestions! I'll have to include a sidebar on possible rumors and theories being floated around by the villagers, as well as clues that can be found in searching around the Littau farmstead


I like that. Also makes for the opportunity for the PC's to really talk with the locals and building up on the mystery. Could be many a red herring and maybe some locals appear to be lying about something. Some locals or nice, some obnoxious etc. Also good for some intra-PC-group discussions before they just throw themselves into it.
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maiden

Postby RobJN » Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:48 pm

So, I've been noodling a bit with the continuation of the opening encounter of the Stone and the Maidens, focusing on the pursuit of a fleeing Stone Dryad, either from the initial barn ambush or subsequent encounter in the Littau farmstead cottage.

TC2: The Stone and the Maidens wrote: Pursuit!
Stone Dryad starts one round ahead of the PCs, moving at full ground speed of 90’ per round.

Faster PCs should catch up with the fleeing stone dryad on their third round of pursuit. They will then be able to engage the creature (again) in combat. If it wins the initiative, however, it will opt to flee, this time taking flight.

If the Stone Dryad escapes, the PCs can still track it under the light of a full Matera. It flies to the west, towards Blackstone Heath, touching down on the far side where the foothills of the Black Peaks begin to rise. An ancient stone circle stands there, worn, weathered and forgotten by most, the standing stones tumbled over or broken, the pieces lying nearly buried in the sandy topsoil. The Stone Dryad is encountered here, tearing at the ground in what looks like a frantic attempt to unearth something.

Several feet beneath the center of the fragmented circle is the main altar: a glossy basin some three feet in diameter, carved into a deep black stone that clearly is not the native granite.

A strange, blue-white light seeps from the stones under the light of the full moon, and if the PCs clear away enough dirt and scrub, they will see silvery-blue runes or glyphs of some sort seemingly etched beneath the surface of the standing stones shining forth.

The Standing Stones of the Blackstone Heath
Located due west and a little north of Threshold, at the edge of the heath, stands a ruined circle of ancient standing stones, half swallowed by the scrub.

Should the PCs inquire about it in town, they will likely hear any of the following rumors:

1. It was built thousands of years ago by the tribe of fey who used to live in the area as a portal between their misty dream realm and these lands. They would ride forth, ensnaring Men with their song and musics, leading them through the portal, never to be seen again….

2. It was actually built by giants as a boundary marker, one of several, but the only one to survive into the present day.

3. The wizard-king Gygar raised it, and used it to summon creatures from another dimension to aid in his fight against the mad queen Elendorath’s armies.

4. It marks the burial ground of heroes from the first battles against the Beast Man invasions.

5. At high noon on Midsummer’s Day, copper coins placed in the center of the circle turn to gold. Likewise, they’ll turn to silver on midnight of the winter’s Longest Night.

6. The stones paint a map upon the sky leading to a great treasure. A warlord had a scribe etch the map and then his army toppled the stones so nobody else would learn the secret. Many have tried over the ages to reposition the stones and activate the magical map, to no avail. The legends never say whether or not the warlord actually found the treasure… but the lack of any such legends would suggest that he was unsuccessful.


I probably need a few more rumors to finish off that sidebar, but that is the initial scene setup for the PCs, should they arrive after following the stone dryad there at night.

I should also include some notes in there about the PCs needing to go on horseback if they should hope to catch up to the stone dryad once it takes to the air...
Rob
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maiden

Postby Yaztromo » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:35 pm

Very looking forward to the prosecution of this project...
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Re: [Thorn's Chronicle Crunch] TC2: The Stone and the Maiden

Postby RobJN » Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:58 pm

Now, which of those rumors are true, I wonder...? Or, do ALL of them hold a kernel of truth...? :twisted:
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